DEEP: National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a Federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. This flood insurance is designed to provide an alternative to federal disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between the local community and the Federal Government that states if a community will adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance or regulation to reduce future flood risks to new construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas (100-year floodplain), the Federal Government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses.

Congress established the NFIP with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. Community participation in the program is voluntary. Currently, all Connecticut municipalities participate in the NFIP. The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). FEMA prepares Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) which identifies the Special Flood Hazard Areas, a high risk area defined as any land that would be inundated by a flood having a 1-percent chance of occurring in any given year (also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood event). Development within this Special Flood Hazard Area may take place provided that it complies with the local floodplain management ordinance or regulation, which must meet the minimum Federal requirements.

Through the NFIP, property owners in participating communities are able to insure against flood losses. By employing wise floodplain management, a participating community can protect its citizens against much of the devastating financial loss resulting from flood disasters. Careful local management of development in the floodplains results in construction practices that can reduce flood losses and the high costs associated with flood disasters to all levels of government.

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FEMA - the National Flood Insurance Program (link to Federal Government website)